Tuesday, September 5, 2017

WisGOP's WisDOT deal still doesn't add up- no final details yet

The Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to finish up the state budget tonight, and a main item would be what is sure to be a multi-part measure on Transportation funding. Mark Sommerhauser reported on a few aspects of the deal and the effect on borrowing for the budget in a story for the Wisconsin State Journal this afternoon. Sommerhauser says that the one revenue-raiser in the DOT deal would involve an additional $75 tax registration fee for hybrids and $100 for electric cars.

However, that provision would only raise at most $14 million for this biennium (based on Page 12 of this paper from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau), and with another Southeast Wisconsin project being added onto, there won't be much less in borrowing than what Scott Walker's original budget proposed.
Nygren said Tuesday that the budget plan includes about $410 million in borrowing for roads and bridges, slightly less than Walker's plan, which called for $500 million.

Of the $410 million in borrowing in the legislative plan, $252 million would go to a project to expand and rebuild U.S. Interstate 94 south of Milwaukee. Walker's budget provided just $31 million for the project.
That last item for I-94 south of Milwaukee is part of the Fox-con, but it also raises spending for highways by $220 million. And whatever federal money they might use for the Foxconn highway should be added in. The problem is that diverting the money down to I-94 means there's less money to go to all other projects. Nygren insisted to reporters that the Hwy 18-151/Verona Road mess in the Madison area would stay on track, but the head of the state's Road Builders isn't so sure.
Nygren said the plan won't cause additional delays beyond what was proposed in Gov. Scott Walker's budget. He specifically said it would not delay an ongoing expansion of Verona Road in Fitchburg, south of the Madison Beltline.

But transportation advocacy and road-building groups questioned how that is possible.

"If the numbers and bonding levels are what we're hearing ... I just don't see any way that you can't have delays," said Patrick Goss, director of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association.
Yeah, I'm doing the math and I don't see it either, Patrick. I'll assume the $250 million in borrowing and extra spending on I-94 South cancel each other out, and that we use the full amount of $66 million in US DOT redistribution money for other highway projects, and I'll include the $93 million in extra money that Gov Walker already claimed back in April .

Highway borrowing/spending 2017-19
Walker budget borrows $500 mil

Added balances, etc from FY 2017 $93 mil
Redistribution funds $66 mil
Hybrid/electric veh fee $14 mil

I-94/ Foxconn work $250 million

TOTAL BORROWING $577 million

Feel free to correct my math if I am wrong, but if I'm lining up things right, there's $167 million that's being cut to get down to Nygren's stated level of $410 million. Or the money is being cut and/or transferred from some other area.

Guess we'll have to wait to see what the final proposal is (JFC was supposed to be back an hour ago...there are clearly deals being made) to see where the numbers add up, and to see what other parts of the shell game is being played when it comes to DOT spending.

EDIT- State Sen. Jon Erpenbach just tweeted this out- the more alarming part is that it is one of AT LEAST 45 ITEMS being revealed and voted on in a matter of hours. What a bullshit way to do things.

1 comment:

  1. The motion is now out. In addition to the absurd limitations on local control for frac sand mining, as noted by Sen. Erpenbach above (GOP is the "party of local government? MY ASS), there are definitely cuts to Gov Walker's bill to get the borrowing down to $150 million.

    $18.4 million from other SE Wis projects outside of the I-94 South Foxconn work. In addition, they PROHIBIT work on the North end of the Zoo Interchange, so enjoy the orange barrels for a few more years, Menomonee Falls and Washington Co! (SUCKERS!)

    $106.2 million cut from "Major Highway Development" outside of SE Wisconsin. Biggest projects here include I-90 South of Madison, Highway 10-441 in Appleton, and Highway 18-151 in Madison and Verona.

    $82.2 million on state highway rehab- usually 2 and 4-lane roads that require potholes to be fixed.

    And then a few items of pork thrown back in to other areas.

    Pathetic and inexcusable. And these needs and deficits will only get worse with the 2019-21 budget. FIRE THEM ALL